Will be spinning disks and avalanche stories for KOTO radio’s annual winter fundraising drive with Mike Friedman and Matt Steen this Friday from 10 – 11.

~~~  LISTEN  ~~~

KOTO ski legends poster CLEAN.jpg

KOTO’s Winter Fund Drive

February 21st- March 6th.

Stop by the KOTO Studio at 207 N. Pine St. to drop off cash or check

Mail a donation to

KOTO Radio P.O. Box 1069 Telluride, CO 81435

Give us a call at (970) 728-4333 or 4334.

Donate online

KOTO’s Tax ID: 23-7317485


GDJD schedule 2-21-20-page0001.jpg

Our friend, John Evans

Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 3.59.24 PM.png





John Evans. Where to begin? While, yes, he had a birthdate and a day he passed on, these don’t really matter compared with the fullness of the long life he led. And while his accomplishments are many, it’s so much more the way he did everything than what he accomplished.
John was born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio, and was second in a line of four brothers – George, John, Rick and Bob. John got his start in snakes and lizards in Ohio, which led him to a life-changing summer job at the Reptile Gardens in western South Dakota, where he wrestled alligators.
As a teen in mountain-deprived Ohio, John was lured by his older brother, George, into a summer backpacking/pseudo climbing trip to the Wind River Range to climb Wyoming’s highest point, Gannet Peak. Against all odds they summited, and the flame was lit – never to diminish.
As so many people know, John was a unique and incredibly passionate and prolific member of the world’s climbing community. He got his start in technical rock climbing in the Black Hills, then quickly moved on to being a “dirtbag climber” (his words) in the early days of Yosemite’s infamous Camp 4. John became a big wall climber, being one of the early climbers to climb the nose of El Capitan, and performing one of the first documented rescues in Yosemite on Sentinel Dome.
He then became an expedition climber with nine first ascents around the world with several that have yet to be repeated (including the famed Hummingbird Ridge on Mount Logan in 1965 and the West Face of Mount Tyree after the first ascent of Mount Vinson in 1966-1967), and many more. He also has two mountains in Antarctica named after him – Evans Peak and Evans Heights.
John’s love for the mountains led him to the Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS) where he worked as an instructor and program director. He shined and touched so many lives with his gentle guidance and humor. Sandwiched between COBS and a 20-year career in the Antarctic was a decade working at the United Bank of Denver complete with, in John’s words, “dark suit, maroon tie and painful shoes.” In his position as an Antarctic support contractor, he specialized in remote field camps on islands along the Antarctic Peninsula.
On one of John’s early Antarctic experiences in the 1960s, he met Buzz Belknap, who invited him to join his family on a river trip. John accepted and was pleased to discover that Buzz had a sister, Loie. It was love at first sight and the beginning of what would be 52 adventure-filled years together.
What John brought to mountain climbing the Belknap family brought to the river community and, for John and Loie, it was a marriage of mountains and rivers that blessed the lives of so many people. They moved to the Conifer/Evergreen area in 1971 and raised their kids, Lynn and Barry, including them in their adventurous family traditions. When Barry passed on unexpectedly in 1992, the community came together and buoyed them up through this time.
In recent years, John and Loie have been blessed to have Lynn and her husband Mark Peesel here in Evergreen with their daughters, Zoe and Spencer. Family adventures have continued, and John has imparted a love of the outdoors and reptiles to his granddaughters.
Even with his tremendous adventures and accomplishments, his greatest impacts were his kind spirit and how he made everyone feel so loved. He taught us that anything can be turned into a joyful adventure. He was an incredible husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather, friend and role model with the biggest, kindest heart and incredible sense of humor. He will be missed.
Along the way, John was an improbably consistent chronicler of his various endeavors, and retirement led him to undertake the long-deferred attention to the tidying up and annotation of his journals to make them coherent to people not there at the time. Thanks to the marvels of e-publishing, these journals are now available to all.
For anyone who would like to learn more about John’s climbing experiences or to share a story or memory about John, visit his website: www.johnevansclimbing.com.
For anyone who would like to give a contribution in John’s name, there are two organizations that have made a big difference to John and the Evans family.
• Colorado Outward Bound School. COBS has been forever near and dear to John’s heart. Contributions would go toward student scholarships and can be sent to: COBS, 5161 Sheridan Blvd., Denver, CO 80212, or online at coloradogives.org/cobs.
• Mount Evans Home Health Care and Hospice. The family has been incredibly touched by the kindness and care of this wonderful organization. The mailing address is 3081 Bergen Peak Drive, Evergreen, CO 80439, or the website is: www.mtevans.org/giving.

A celebration of life for John is being planned for March 14th.


Published in Canyon Courier on Jan. 15, 2020


Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 4.04.45 PM.png

THE MAKING OF THE ASPEN X GAMES MEDALS ~ published in Elevation Outdoors


Colorado artist Lisa Issenberg Created the 2020 Aspen X Games medals for the winners. Here, she shares her inspiration and process:


The blank canvas waits patiently while the idea board fills with every possible concept that could be incorporated into the design. What does the medal need to express? What specific elements must be included? Who are the recipients? What would sufficiently celebrate the achievement—to match the honor? Should the design slant towards sleek, modern, industrial, or rad? With steel, brass, bronze, aluminum, and pewter as my mediums, the properties and possibilities are vast.

When I think about what guides my design, I summon my mentors, their styles and philosophies, and the wise words they have shared throughout the years. My professor at Pratt, Irv Tepper, pointed out the five major design aspects of a teacup—the outside shape, the inside shape, the rim, handle, and foot—I never saw a teacup the same way again. Every project is a tea cup.

~ See full article ~

Lisa Issenberg creates X Games medals … By Suzanne Cheavens/The Watch


The Aspen X Games kick off today at Buttermilk, the 19th year that the world’s legends and rising stars of skiing and snowboarding (and snowmobiling, too) gather in a celebration of youth culture and extreme on-mountain feats. For the top athletes who make the podium, they will receive a medal as unique and fresh as the event itself — a hand crafted work of art created by Ridgway’s Lisa Issenberg.

Formed in 2012, Issenberg’s design studio is called Kiitella (Finnish for thank, praise, and applaud). An artist with a vast resume that includes everything from jewelry to large-scale architectural installations, Issenberg found her niche as an award-maker and it began in Telluride with Mountainfilm.

~~ See Full Article ~~

Photos From the 2020 Dakar Rally ~ The Atlantic

Leaving from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on January 5, a group of 560 competitors began the 42nd annual Dakar Rally: a 12-day, 4,660-mile (7,500-kilometer) off-roading adventure held entirely in Saudi Arabia this year. The race used to be held in Africa, until 2008, when unrest in Mauritania forced organizers to move to South America, where it was hosted until this year. The vehicles—which include specialized cars, trucks, motorcycles, and quad bikes—are currently on stage 10 of 12 stages that lead to Qiddiya, in Riyadh, on January 17. Here is a look at Dakar 2020 in progress, as teams race to the finish line.


Monster Energy Honda Team 2020’s Kevin Benavides of Argentina rides his Honda CRF 450 Rally motorbike between Al Wajh and Neom, Saudi Arabia, on January 6, 2020.



A biker rides through the desert during stage 6



An overview of the landscape during stage 9 of the 2020 Dakar Rally, between Wadi Al Dawasir and Haradh, on January 14, 2020


A trail of dust from a race car is seen during stage 2, between Al Wajh and Neom, Saudi Arabia, on January 6, 2020.